Boccia: 12 Facts for London 201208.05.2012
Here’s a list of 12 interesting things you should know about Boccia at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Here are 12 things you should know about the sport for London 2012:
1. Who, what, when?
The London 2012 Boccia competition will take place from 2-8 September, as 104 athletes will challenge each other in seven individual, pairs and team medal events across a number of classifications. The aim of the game is to propel balls so they finish as close as possible to a white target ball, known as a jack.
In London, Boccia will take place at the ExCeL, the largest competition venue at the 2012 Games. It is made up of five arenas and will become one of Europe’s largest and most versatile exhibition spaces following the event.
3. Origin of the name
The word Boccia comes from the Latin word bottia, which means ball. It is pronounced “Bot-cha". But North Americans often pronounce it "Bot-chi".
Boccia is one of the only the Paralympic sports that has no Olympic counterpart.
5. History of the sport
Boccia has ancient Greek origins, as Greeks used to throw stones at stone targets. The sport was eventually introduced to the Paralympic programme at the New York and Stoke Mandeville 1984 Games. The sport is now played competitively in more than 50 countries worldwide.
6. Breaking the rules
Boccia athletes can be penalized for three different reasons:
• Positioning and turn-taking violations result in two extra balls being awarded to the opposition.
• A retraction occurs when a thrown ball does not count and is removed.
• A warning, or yellow card, is issued for serious and deliberate disruption. A second warning results in disqualification.
There are several terms to familiarize yourself with specific to Boccia:
• End: A passage of play that features six balls per athlete, pair or team.
• Jack: Athletes aim to land their balls as close to the jack – a white target ball – as possible.
• Ramp: Players who are unable to roll, throw or kick the balls can use an assistive device called a ramp.
Athletes are classified in four categories (BC1-BC4) based on their functional ability. BC4 is for players who do not have cerebral palsy (CP). They often have a similar functional ability to BC2 players, who throw the ball into play and all have CP. BC1 is also for CP players, who may throw or kick the ball. They have less functional ability than BC2 players, but more than BC3 players, who may have CP or another disability and use a ramp.
9. Medal Haul
10. Mixed Gender
All Boccia events include both men and women competing together.
11. Field of play
Most Boccia balls are made out of leather containing plastic granules.